Author Archive for Marian McLaughlin

Down There in Alligatorland With Avey Tare

Animal Collective member Avey Tare (aka David Portner) is in town tonight promoting his swampy new album, Down There. Besides keeping the animal association rolling—his website is called Alligatorland and the creature is a motif in his music and visuals—Avey Tare explores themes in his solo work that run parallel to Animal Collective. In a recent interview, [...]

Gang Gang Dance Throws Down the Infinity Gauntlet

Gang Gang Dance has an affinity for infinity, an immediately aspect of the New York band's latest album, Eye Contact. Three of the 10 tracks are identified with infinity signs—they're segues that announce each theme and mood of the album.
The band, which performs tonight at Rock & Roll Hotel, took the idea of infinity [...]

Wild Beasts Smother Us

"There's a sort of black hole between finishing an album and it being released," says Wild Beasts' Tom Fleming. It's been roughly two years since the British band released Two Dancers, an album full of momentum and movement guided by singer Hayden Thorpe's unique falsetto. Between that time and now, the band toured extensively, as well [...]

The Story of Pearl and the Beard

The best storytellers live in the moment, weaving together memories from the past with the surroundings of the present. But Pearl and the Beard are one step ahead of that, and they know that the stories they tell through song are always developing.  Same goes for the music: The folky Brooklyn three-piece played Red [...]

Tonight: Presto Bando’s Soccer Ballet

Lots of kids play soccer and take ballet lessons after school; very few kids become footballers and ballerinas. They're familiar archetypes, but they're also out-of-reach and romantic.
At least that's how Brandon Ables sees things. That's why his group, Presto Bando, created Fabuellonna, a "soccer/ballet/performance piece" that they're performing tonight at St. Stephen's. Ables studied philosophy [...]

Capillary Action Gets Phanatical

We have our great storytellers in music, and we have our sonic adventurers. The qualities don't always overlap, but when they do, sometimes it takes a few listens to really catch everything an artist is doing. That's certainly the case with Capillary Action, the ever-morphing project of Jonathan Pfeffer.
"It's a demanding project to listen to," [...]

Record-Store Hunting (and Touring) With Kurt Vile

During the lull right before a show, straight off the highway and with time to kill in a new town, there are very few things a tired, traveling musician can muster up the energy for. Some rushed tourism, maybe, or a bite to eat.
And record stores. On previous tours, Philadelphia indie-rock troubadour Kurt Vile spent [...]

A Whimsical Touring Tutorial From Bird Names

You might assume Bird Names is a D.C. band, given how frequently the psych-pop crew appears here. Nominally based in Athens, Ga., but more nomadic in their nature, Bird Names always seems to be coming through town, as if they're on an infinite tour loop.
For a while, the duo of David Lineal and Phelan Lavelle [...]

Quick History Lessons With Kid Congo Powers

Before Brian Tristan was Kid Congo Powers, he was "ThePrez"—a name conferred upon him by Joey Ramone. Kid Congo became an important post-punk figure in the 1980s as a member of The Gun Club, The Cramps, and Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, but before all that, at age 17, he was the president of the [...]

Monotonix Comes to Comet Ping Pong

Perhaps Tel Aviv wasn't the best environment for Israeli rockers Monotonix to grow as a band.
You can hear regional and traditional sounds in Monotonix's music, and a familiarity with mainstream pop culture. But the band is quick to admit that its hyper-energetic, often chaotic live sets and the electronic pulse of its songs have made the [...]